Scarpetta Among Fontainebleau’s Award-Winning Restaurants

Under the direction of culinary talents from around the globe, Fontainebleau Miami Beach features innovative culinary concepts, sophisticated surroundings and impeccable service. The resort, headed by Jeffrey Soffer of Turnberry Associates, offers an impressive array of renowned restaurants, including Scarpetta, which has earned rave reviews from food lovers living in and visiting Miami Beach.

A triple-A, Four Diamond Award recipient, Scarpetta, by James Beard award recipient Scott Conant, offers a regional Italian menu combining the simplicity of Italy’s cucina rustica with the refined flavors of fine cuisine amidst breathtaking views. An Italian expression that means “little shoe” – or the shape bread takes when used to soak up a dish – Scarpetta represents the pure pleasure of savoring a meal down to its very last taste.

Overlooking the resort’s pool scape, the restaurant features ocean and poolside views, a glass enclosed veranda as well as casual dining areas and a cocktail lounge. A light, airy and sophisticated interior displays a refined nautical palette, with elements that reference mid-century Italian design. Floor to ceiling columns, reminiscent of coral or weatherworn driftwood, line the windows adding an organic, sculptural element.

The restaurant’s bold architectural features highlight Conant’s seasonally inspired Italian fare comprised of farm-fresh ingredients and clean, earthy flavors that pay homage to his heritage and time spent in Italy. Known for coaxing the most sublime flavors out of the simplest ingredients, Conant creates satisfying and soulful meals that encourage guests to pick up a piece of bread and clear their plates.

At Lan Larb Soho, a Flame-Throwing New Kind of Cuisine

The only reason Ratchanee Sumpatboon’s name hasn’t become more familiar may be the difficulty of pronouncing it. She’s the chef who pioneered Isan food in Queens, first at Chao Thai, then at Poodam — it means “black crab,” which was her childhood nickname. “I was short and dark-skinned,” she once confided, “so my family and friends called me Poodam.” Sumpatboon next brought Isan food to Manhattan, initially at Zabb Elee in the East Village and later at her own place in Hell’s Kitchen called Larb Ubol. Now, one year later, this ambitious and talented chef has just opened another pair of restaurants, both named Lan Larb. One is east of Soho on Centre Street, the other on First Avenue in Kip’s Bay.

The menu at Lan Larb Soho overlaps that of its forerunner Larb Ubol by about 80 percent, but the food tends to be arranged on the plate with more attention to appearance — long a feature of Manhattan Thai dining establishments — and the entrees average a dollar or two more apiece. Outfitted with ethnographic objects in little niches and an up-to-date lighting scheme, Lan Larb Soho feels like a typical neighborhood Thai restaurant. It offers crowd-pleasing curries from southern Thailand that Larb Ubol ignore, as well as dishes included merely for their trashy familiarity, such as fried calamari and chicken wings with a sweet dipping sauce. Health enthusiasts will relish the vegetarian spring rolls and steamed vegetable dumplings.

Read the rest of the review here.


Hakkasan and BOURBON STEAK

Featured in Zagat’s Top 50 Restaurants in Miami Zagat recently released its coveted list of Miami’s top 50 restaurants. From tried-and-true classics to exotic fusions, the list incorporated a variety of Miami’s culinary gems. Hakkasan and BOURBON STEAK, both popular Miami restaurants at resorts owned and operated by Turnberry Associates, received high ratings. Turnberry Associates is led by real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer who serves as the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.


Coming in at #15, Hakkasan is Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s highly-rated Chinese restaurant. Having built its reputation in the United Kingdom, Hakkasan is recognized as the pioneering concept that changed the face of Chinese cuisine. The menu exercises an interesting fusion of flavors with options like stir-fry Bahamian lobster, jasmine tea smoked beef short ribs, and a variety of dim sum options. The modern oasis known for its flavorful Asian cuisine received a rating of 26 in food, 27 in décor, and 25 in service.

Inside the luxurious Turnberry Isle Miami hotel, BOURBON STEAK, a Michael Mina Restaurant ranked #21 on Zagat’s Top 50 list. Mina, a James Beard award-winning chef and renowned restaurateur, created the contemporary American steak house that’s attracted attention from visitors and locals alike. Guests have the chance to sample his signature modern cuisine in a chic and vibrant venue. The restaurant received a 26 in food, 26 in décor, and 24 in service.

Turnberry Associates has a reputation for culinary excellence. Its properties also include star chef-led restaurants such as Turnberry Isle Miami’s CORSAIR by Scott Conant and Fontainebleau’s Michael Mina 74.

Dining in the Big Apple

If you’re heading to the Big Apple, also known as New York City, we have some of our favorite dining spots for you! You really can’t go wrong in New York when it comes to food. Whether you are eating a piece of pizza from a hole in the wall pizza parlor or dining all the way uptown at a five star restaurant, it is all quality.

The Little Beet Table

The Little Beet Table is unique because the menu is entirely gluten free. Hate it or love it, gluten free is a thing and it is definitely something people are becoming more aware of. This full-service restaurant, which opened last January is an offshoot of its casual sister restaurant, The Little Beet.  The menu has everything from a prosciutto flatbread to grilled skirt steak to brussels sprouts.

STATE Grill and Bar

STATE Grill and Bar is uniquely located in the main lobby of the Empire State Building. Nothing says NYC tourism like a trip to the Empire State Building AND the opportunity to dine in the world famous 103-story skyscraper. The grill offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and has three private dining rooms. The menu is updated daily, which contributes to the restaurants novelty.

The Meatball Shop

The Meatball Shop has become quite the chain in New York! They currently have six locations all over New York. Following suit in the allergen conscious trend, they have created an “Allergy Matrix,” which maps out if something fully contains the allergen, may be prepared without the allergen or there are trace amounts of the ingredient. If you love meatballs than The Meatball Shop is most definitely for you!

Miami’s Michael Mina 74 Named Restaurant of the Year

Michael Mina 74 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a unique concept from award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Mina, was recently named Miami Restaurant of the Year by Michael Mina 74 brings a high-energy culinary and social destination to the bustling Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a resort owned and operated by Turnberry Associates and its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Soffer.

The restaurant’s dynamic, share-driven menu features whimsical dishes from across the globe, along with the balanced flavors, textures and nuances that have made Mina’s reputation. The MM74 experience begins with the restaurant’s rolling seafood cart, featuring fresh-from-the-sea offerings, many sourced specifically for the hotel. Additional cart selections, the perfect way to augment any meal at this dynamic dining destination, are offered dim sum style and change seasonally; recent selections include chick pea panisse, roasted beet salad and fresh vegetable
spring rolls. Additional menu items include Buttermilk-Fried Chicken with hot sauce and honey, slaw and pickled watermelon; Duck Confit and Scallion Crepe with kimchi, hoisin sauce and pea shoot salad and lobster pot pie. Handcrafted cocktails and expert, house-made infusions complement the eclectic cuisine.

Embracing the sultry spirit of Miami Beach and designed by the award-winning design firm, AvroKO, the restaurant’s décor features dimly lit chandeliers, deep leather couches, plush banquettes and a live DJ that contributes to the restaurant’s lively atmosphere.

How Do the New Restaurant Payment Apps Stack Up?

Are diners and restaurants ready for mobile payment apps? Eater’s new app reviewer Sam Kim takes a look at the options.

Apps that help diners pay for meals with smartphones are still in their infancy, and several are testing the waters in major markets like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Promises of added security, lower processing fees, customer analytics, marketing, and increased efficiency for both customers and retailers make these apps an attractive option. Mobile payment apps have low entry barriers for restaurants (many work with existing POS systems and don’t require extra equipment), and tout their ease of use for new and potential customers.

Mobile payment offerings run the gamut from chain-specific apps (Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Taco Bell), apps that cater more to independently-owned restaurants (Cups, Cover), and broad-scope restaurant apps (Apple Pay, Dash, Pay with OpenTable, TabbedOut). Below, a look at how some of the most popular restaurant payment apps fared in California and New York, and what the implications might be for diners and restaurants.

  • Apply Pay
  • Cover
  • Paying with OpenTable
  • Dash
  • TabbedOut

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

Cooking spray
1 (19.50-ounce) box chocolate brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup chocolate milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
30 caramels (recommended: Kraft)
2 cups shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the brownie mix with the eggs, chocolate milk, and oil until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spread into the prepared baking dish and bake until center is barely set, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the caramels until completely melted and incorporated into the cream. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut. Spread in an even layer over the cooled brownies.

Melt the remaining chocolate chips in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between intervals. Drizzle the chocolate in a criss-cross pattern over the coconut topping. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set before slicing into bars.

Originally published on

CORSAIR by scott conant Coming to Turnberry Isle Miami

This month, award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality Scott Conant opens CORSAIR by scott conant in Aventura’s Turnberry Isle Miami. The restaurant has undergone a full renovation – inside and out – and occupies the space of the former Cascata Grill overlooking the resort’s Miller Golf Course.

The new restaurant is the latest phase in Jeffrey Soffer’s and Turnberry Associates’ renovations to enrich guest experiences at the iconic resort destination and golf club tucked away on 300 tropical acres in Aventura, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Inspired by Florida’s age of discovery and the state’s history of exploration, CORSAIR by scott conant will focus on a rustic, seasonal menu rooted in the farmhouse cooking of America and the Mediterranean. With each changing season, dishes will reflect the harvest of local farmers and purveyors as chefs showcase on center stage, the restaurant’s quality and simplicity of fresh ingredients.

The restaurant’s style and menu will intermingle through a sense of understated sophistication perhaps best described by the Italian expression, “sprezzatura,” which translates as an air of casual elegance.

At CORSAIR by scott conant, guests can enjoy an authentic and relaxing dining experience anchored by unmatched service and personalized hospitality in a lively setting.

Bon Appétit!

Rome Travel: A Really Good Lunch During a Day Trip to Tivoli

I’m always skeptical – almost scared – of restaurants smack in the middle of tourist areas, but a recent experience in Italy made me wonder whether I’ve been too cynical.

One of the great day trips from Rome is to the ancient town of Tivoli, where you can see the gorgeous house and gardens of the Villa d’Este and, a few minutes away, the remains of Hadrian’s Villa. If you want to eat in Tivoli, well, you are by definition in a tourist zone, which would too often be a reliable signal of mediocre food no matter how much or how little you were ready to pay. But thanks to the ministrations of the excellent tour guide Stuart Harvey (we were there as part of a group – how touristy can you get?), we had lunch at a restaurant whose name would have been enough to frighten us even if it hadn’t been a 90-second walk from the gate of the Villa: L’Angolino di Mirko. Mirko? That doesn’t sound very Roman to me….

But as it turned out, lunch was terrific. The menu was interesting and the cooking careful, elegant and flavorful, making use of excellent ingredients. For Jackie and me, the highlight was as good a bellyful of fresh porcini mushrooms we’ve ever encountered, first on lightly grilled bread with excellent olive oil and a little parsley; then tossed with homemade fettuccine.

Read the rest of the article and view pictures here…



BleauFish to Table

Located on Collins Avenue overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach is owned and managed by renowned developer Turnberry Associates. Led by Jeffrey Soffer, the resort completed a $1 billion renaissance in November 2008, which focused, in part, on unique culinary experiences for guests.

One of those, the Fontainebleau’s novel seafood sourcing program, BleauFish Ocean to Table, was profiled in the October issue of Ocean Drive magazine. Writer Bill Kearney joined the resort’s executive chef Thomas Connell and Chee Ping Chang, senior sous chef at Fontainebleau restaurant Hakkasan, on a recent early morning expedition on Fontainebleau’s own fishing boat, the 44-foot BleauFish, helmed by Captain Michael Henry.

Amazingly, all the fish caught by Henry is immediately transported to Connell’s “water world” –six 300-gallon tanks located in the Fontainebleau basement. From there, the fish is prepared by chefs at the resort’s signature restaurants, including Hakkasan and Scarpetta, as well as the Fontainebleau’s other dining outlets. The result is hyperlocal seafood and fresh seafood cuisine.

“It’s really like a market for our chefs to come out here and shop and pick what they like and take to their restaurants and sell it,” Connell told Ocean Drive.

That day, Scarpetta chef de cuisine Marlon Rambaran sautéed a family-style whole yellowtail snapper for two with bay leaves, rosemary, fresh thyme and chives, along with a little sea salt and espelette pepper. On the plate, Rambaran adds lightly boiled asparagus, carrots and sea beans. From the ocean to the table on the same day.